Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed Tuesday that only the threat of Israel sending its own commandos to rescue its embassy staff in Cairo moved then-President Mohammed Morsi to send Egyptian forces to save them.
Speaking at a Foreign Ministry ceremony to commemorate Israeli diplomats killed abroad in the line of duty, Netanyahu recalled the night when a mob of Egyptians rampaged unchecked through Israel’s embassy offices.
The six remaining security guards at the time were holed up in a safe room behind a sturdy metal door, on the phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu that night in September 2011. “Yoni, the State of Israel will get you out of there,” the prime minister told the head of security on the phone at the time.
But Israel never publicly revealed its own intervention in the matter, instead giving the credit – and the subsequent kudos on television – to U.S. President Barack Obama.
On Tuesday, the facade came to an end and for the first time, Netanyahu revealed that it was through the threat of sending Israeli commandos the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Egyptian president was persuaded to send in his own crack troops to resolve the problem.
“A mob came to slaughter our people, and we used all the tools at our disposal that night, including the threat of rescue operation by the IDF, which finally tipped the balance and led the Egyptian forces — then under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, together with careful coordination from here — that ultimately led to the successful conclusion of this event,” Netanyahu told Foreign Ministry staff.
He acknowledged that the service is no picnic for its staff, noting that 16 foreign service officers have been killed abroad since 1948.
“Our representatives are there to deflect political and propaganda attacks, and precisely because of this they are liable to turn into targets for physical attacks,” he said.
Netanyahu is currently serving both as prime minister and as foreign minister in Israel. He also served as foreign minister from 2002 to 2003 under then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and from 2012 to 2013. He served as Israeli ambassador to the United Nations between 1984 and 1988, and as deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC from 1982 to 1984.
Update: Defusing a potential international crisis, the Prime Minister’s office has issued a clarification stating that Israel’s intention at the time was to run a “coordinated” operation with the Egyptian army, and not to take unilateral action. The Prime Minister thanked the Egyptian army for handling the matter responsibly leading to a resolution to the problem.
IDF officials warned this week that between 600 to 1,000 Da’esh (ISIS) operatives in the Sinai Peninsula are now “partnering” with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.
In a graphic posted to the military service English-language blog online, the IDF confirmed Hamas support for Da’esh is wide-ranging.
Hamas transfers money for the terrorist organization, trains and teaches its fighters, assists with communications and also provides medical care when necessary.
Those services are provided via the cross-border smuggler tunnels that snake below the surface under the Gaza-Egyptian border.
Hamas was created by the outlawed Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization, which is bent on overthrowing the Cairo regime of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Former Muslim Brotherhood-backed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was ousted after only a year in power; more than one million Egyptians rose up to protest against his rule, which followed the chaos of the Arab Spring.
As predicted last week by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “extremist groups” are trying to incite the Arab population to renewed violence by making wild claims about violations of the status quo on the Temple Mount over the Passover holiday.
At the forefront of this effort is the outlawed Islamic Movement, which is accusing Israel of trying to take over the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mosque during the holiday.
The deputy director of the organization, Sheikh Kamel al-Hatib, told Quds Press “extremist Jewish groups” led by the prime minister “and eight other ministers” (read: Israel’s government cabinet) are working to “break into” the mosque (read: allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount grounds) during the holiday.
According to Hatib, the Israeli government and IDF are facilitating the “intended conquest.”
Such claims are not new, and the same old tired retreads are yanked out of mothballs for every Jewish festival. Nevertheless, there are those in the Arab population who are vulnerable and still somehow believe the fantasies no matter how silly, how embroidered, outrageous or how often the lie is retold.
The Islamic Movement in Israel was outlawed in November 2015 for incitement to racism and violence. The leader of the movement’s northern branch, Sheikh Raed Salah, has been convicted of funding Hamas, and of contact with an Iranian intelligence agent.
He also served time in an Israeli prison from 2003 to 2005, and a five-month term in 2010. Salah is known for repeatedly exhorting his followers as well as Israeli Arab students at universities to “keep fighting until we remove the Israeli occupation and free the holy Jerusalem.”
Jerusalem (TPS) – The Hamas operative who detonated a bomb on a Jerusalem bus this week has died in an Israeli hospital, the Israeli police confirmed on Thursday, partially lifting a gag order on the investigation. A police spokesperson further revealed that several other suspects have been arrested.
Abdel Hamid Abu Srour, a 19-year-old Hamas operative from the town of Beit Jala near Bethlehem, detonated an explosive device on the number 12 public bus in Jerusalem on Monday, injuring 20 people, including one seriously. Abu Srour died of his wounds on Wednesday in Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. The Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) characterized the bombing as a “suicide attack.”
The police, Shin Bet, and IDF conducted extensive raids in Bethlehem on Tuesday, arresting multiple Hamas activists who are suspected of helping Abu Srour plan and carry out the terror attack.
Further details of the investigation remain under a gag order.
Following Abu Srour’s death on Wednesday evening, the Hamas terror organization claimed responsibility for the attack and called him a “martyr.” Spontaneous celebrations erupted in Bethlehem and Gaza, with people passing out candy in the streets to celebrate the bus bombing.
Four victims of the terror attack are being treated at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center. Three are in the intensive care unit on respirators, said Hadassah spokeswoman Hadar Elboim on Thursday.
“We will locate the men who created this bomb, we will reach the men who sent the bomber as well as the ones behind them,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after Monday’s terror attack. “We will settle the account with these terrorists.”
The Hamas terrorist group confirmed Thursday the 19-year-old Arab who died in a Jerusalem hospital after bombing a bus Monday in the capital was a bona fide member of the Gaza entity.
He was identified by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health as Abdul Hamid Abu Srour, according to the Al Qassam website.
“Hamas movement in Bethlehem mourned the martyr and said that he is one of its members in the city,” according to Arab media and the website of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam military wing of the Hamas terrorist group.
Al Qassam.ps website reported the bomber “lost his legs in the bombing and was severely burnt” before he died of his wounds.
Twenty-one people were injured Monday (April 18, 2016) when a terrorist bomb exploded on an Egged bus on Moshe Bar’am Street near Hebron Road in Jerusalem. Two of the victims, a man, 30, and a woman, 28, were critically injured. Six people were seriously wounded and the rest sustained minor injuries, including two children ages 10 and 12.
As a result of the initial explosion on the empty bus, a second bus nearly — which carried passengers — and a private car caught fire. Eight victims were evacuated to Sha’are Zedek Medical Center and the rest to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center. Magen David Adom emergency response teams said the victims suffered burns, smoke inhalation and cuts.
Hillary and Bernie locked horns, clashed, yelled and smashed into each other almost literally last night in Brooklyn, NY. There were cheap shots and there were deep cuts. It can be safely said that the behavioral gap between the Democratic and Republican debates have narrowed significantly, so neither side can claim the high ground any longer. As to the portion of the debate in which we were most interested, US-Israeli relations, we must agree Hillary made us feel a little safer. Sanders started off from the point of view of B’Tselem and J Street, while Hillary at this point is a little to the right of J Street. After last night’s debate, if you’re a Democrat who cares about Israel, we advise you to buy an industrial size laundry clip, put it on your nose and vote for Bill’s wife. Not because we endorse her, we really really don’t, but she scares us a little less than Bernie does.
And now, to what they actually said last night about how they’d like to finally bring peace to the region…
Blitzer: Senator, let’s talk about the U.S. relationship with Israel. Senator Sanders, you maintained that Israel’s response in Gaza in 2014 was, quote, “disproportionate and led to the unnecessary loss of innocent life.”
What do you say to those who believe that Israel has a right to defend itself as it sees fit?
Sanders: Well, as somebody who spent many months of my life when I was a kid in Israel, who has family in Israel, of course Israel has a right not only to defend themselves, but to live in peace and security without fear of terrorist attack. That is not a debate.
But — but what you just read, yeah, I do believe that. Israel was subjected to terrorist attacks, has every right in the world to destroy terrorism. But we had in the Gaza area — not a very large area — some 10,000 civilians who were wounded and some 1,500 who were killed.
Heckler: Free Palestine!
Sanders: Now, if you’re asking not just me, but countries all over the world was that a disproportionate attack, the answer is that I believe it was, and let me say something else.
Sanders: And, let me say something else. As somebody who is 100% pro-Israel, in the long run — and this is not going to be easy, God only knows, but in the long run if we are ever going to bring peace to that region which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.
Sanders: So what is not to say — to say that right now in Gaza, right now in Gaza unemployment is s somewhere around 40%. You got a log of that area continues, it hasn’t been built, decimated, houses decimated health care decimated, schools decimated. I believe the United States and the rest of the world have got to work together to help the Palestinian people.
That does not make me anti-Israel. That paves the way, I think…
Blitzer: … Thank you, Senator…
Sanders: …to an approach that works in the Middle East.
Blitzer: Thank you. Secretary Clinton, do you agree with Senator Sanders that Israel overreacts to Palestinians attacks, and that in order for there to be peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel must, quote, end its disproportionate responses?
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Clinton: I negotiated the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in November of 2012. I did it in concert with…
Clinton: President Abbas of the Palestinian authority based in Ramallah, I did it with the then Muslim Brotherhood President, Morsi, based in Cairo, working closely with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli cabinet. I can tell you right now I have been there with Israeli officials going back more than 25 years that they do not seek this kind of attacks. They do not invite the rockets raining down on their towns and villages.
They do not believe that there should be a constant incitement by Hamas aided and abetted by Iran against Israel. And, so when it came time after they had taken the incoming rockets, taken the assaults and ambushes on their soldiers and they called and told me, I was in Cambodia, that they were getting ready to have to invade Gaza again because they couldn’t find anybody to talk to tell them to stop it, I flew all night, I got there, I negotiated that.
So, I don’t know how you run a country when you are under constant threat, terrorist tact, rockets coming at you. You have a right to defend yourself.
That does not mean — that does not mean that you don’t take appropriate precautions. And, I understand that there’s always second guessing anytime there is a war. It also does not mean that we should not continue to do everything we can to try to reach a two-state solution, which would give the Palestinians the rights and…
Blitzer: … Thank you…
Clinton: … just let me finish. The rights and the autonomy that they deserve. And, let me say this, if Yasser Arafat had agreed with my husband at Camp David in the Late 1990s to the offer then Prime Minister Barat put on the table, we would have had a Palestinian state for 15 years.
Blitzer: Thank you, Senator, go ahead — go ahead, Senator.
Sanders: I don’t think that anybody would suggest that Israel invites and welcomes missiles flying into their country. That is not the issue.
And, you evaded the answer. You evaded the question. The question is not does Israel have a right to respond, nor does Israel have a right to go after terrorists and destroy terrorism. That’s not the debate. Was their response disproportionate?
I believe that it was, you have not answered that.
Clinton: I will certainly be willing to answer it. I think I did answer it by saying that of course there have to be precautions taken but even the most independent analyst will say the way that Hamas places its weapons, the way that it often has its fighters in civilian garb, it is terrible.
I’m not saying it’s anything other than terrible. It would be great — remember, Israel left Gaza. They took out all the Israelis. They turned the keys over to the Palestinian people.
Clinton: And what happened? Hamas took over Gaza.
So instead of having a thriving economy with the kind of opportunities that the children of the Palestinians deserve, we have a terrorist haven that is getting more and more rockets shipped in from Iran and elsewhere.
Blitzer: Thank you, Secretary.
Sanders: I read Secretary Clinton’s statement speech before AIPAC. I heard virtually no discussion at all about the needs of the Palestinian people. Almost none in that speech.
Sanders: So here is the issue: of course Israel has a right to defend itself, but long-term there will never be peace in that region unless the United States plays a role, an even-handed role trying to bring people together and recognizing the serious problems that exist among the Palestinian people.
That is what I believe the world wants to us do and that’s the kind of leadership that we have got to exercise.
Clinton: Well, if I — I want to add, you know, again describing the problem is a lot easier than trying to solve it. And I have been involved, both as first lady with my husband’s efforts, as a senator supporting the efforts that even the Bush administration was undertaking, and as secretary of state for President Obama, I’m the person who held the last three meetings between the president of the Palestinian Authority and the prime minister of Israel.
There were only four of us in the room, Netanyahu, Abbas, George Mitchell, and me. Three long meetings. And I was absolutely focused on what was fair and right for the Palestinians.
I was absolutely focused on what we needed to do to make sure that the Palestinian people had the right to self-government. And I believe that as president I will be able to continue to make progress and get an agreement that will be fair both to the Israelis and the Palestinians without ever, ever undermining Israel’s security.
Blitzer: A final word, Senator, go ahead.
Sanders: There comes a time — there comes a time when if we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time.
Clinton: … you know, I have spoken about and written at some length the very candid conversations I’ve had with him and other Israeli leaders. Nobody is saying that any individual leader is always right, but it is a difficult position.
If you are from whatever perspective trying to seek peace, trying to create the conditions for peace when there is a terrorist group embedded in Gaza that does not want to see you exist, that is a very difficult challenge.
Blitzer: Senator, go ahead.
Sanders: You gave a major speech to AIPAC, which obviously deals with the Middle East crisis, and you barely mentioned the Palestinians. And I think, again, it is a complicated issue and God knows for decades presidents, including President Clinton and others, Jimmy Carter and others have tried to do the right thing.
All that I am saying is we cannot continue to be one-sided. There are two sides to the issue.
Jordanian police evacuated staff on Wednesday and sealed the building housing the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Amman.
“Security forces raided our headquarters and asked us to evacuate the place,” spokesperson Muath Khawaldeh told The Jordan Times, calling the move by authorities “shocking.” He provided no further details.
The Muslim Brotherhood has long been outlawed in Egypt as a terrorist entity, where the worldwide group started.
A government source who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Jordan Times the decision came because the group is unlicensed and they are “not showing any intent to rectify their situation”.
The Islamic Action Front headquarters, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, has in the past couple of years become increasingly vocal in its opposition to Jordan’s relationship with the United Arab Emirates. The IAF has also boycotted the past two parliamentary elections. Jordan’s struggles with a rising element of radical Islamism in its midst and on its borders has clearly prompted the government to take action to contain any chance of a rerun of the “Arab Spring.”
A new Muslim Brotherhood Society, whose leaders apparently split from the original group, registered a new entity in March 2014. The newly formed, moderate, officially licensed branch said it had cut ties to the regional movement. The new organization allegedly filed a complaint against the original group, claiming itself to be the legitimate Brotherhood in Jordan, according to the unnamed government source quoted by The Jordan Times.